Last summer, some of our book babes could not shut up about the exciting audiobook they had listened to. The Diviners by Libba Bray was set in 1920s New York City and featured old-fashioned slang, speakeasies, magic, and mysterious murders. This year, we had the opportunity to get signed advance copies of the second book in the series, Lair of Dreams at BEA. And we got an extra copy just for you! Read to the end for instructions for our giveaway. At first we didn’t want to read the book until the audiobook came out, since the audial experience of the first one was just that great, but diving back into that world as soon as possible was just too tempting. As you can tell from my review below, the book lived up to our expectations and more. This series just keeps getting diviner and diviner!
The story continues where the The Diviners left off: Evie O’Neil, endearingly attention-seeking flapper whose object-reading abilities made headlines when she helped solve a murder case now has her own radio show and is basking in her fame, but trouble for the city isn’t over. A strange sleeping sickness, which causes its victims to give in to dreams and never wake up, has cropped up. It may have a magical cause, and therefore needs the magic-wielding Diviners to stop it. The disease originates in NYC’s Chinatown and soon expands to the other neighborhoods, spreading fear and xenophobia with it.
This book focuses slightly less on Evie (although she does have her own subplot in the story), and more on Henry, who readers may remember as the gay best friend of Evie’s sophisticated flapper friend Theta. The other protagonist is a new character named Ling Chan from Chinatown. She and Henry are both Diviners with the power to walk in other people’s dreams, which gives them a unique advantage in investigating the sleeping sickness.
One of my favorite things about the series is the diversity of the characters and their experiences. Although I expect any author writing a book that takes place in a city as cosmopolitan as NYC to at least take a stab at writing characters who differ from herself, Libba Bray does so with amazing empathy, sensitivity, and finesse. She develops the challenges Theta and Memphis face for their interracial relationship, the discrimination aimed at immigrants as the nation grows, Ling Chan’s shame over the braces and crutches she needs in order to walk on her crippled legs, and more in Lair of Dreams. Ling and Henry both become addicted to the dream world because only there can they be free, Ling from her disability and Henry from the stigma of his homosexuality.
I also love the writing style. The voice of each character is so clear and the whimsical 1920’s slang never fails to make me giggle. I highly enjoyed Lair of Dreams and can’t wait to get lost in the next 600-page-plus installment.
Lair of Dreams will come out on August 25, 2015.
To enter our giveaway of a signed copy, please follow the directions in the link below. A winner will be chosen in one week, on August 20.